simona levi Simona Levi

Theater director, playwright, technopolitical strategist, activist and teacher, in 2017 Rolling Stone magazine chose Simona Lev as one of the 25 people in the world who are shaping the future.

Since 2018 she has been designing and co-directing the Postgraduate Course in Technopolitics and Rights in the Digital Era.

A theatre director, playwright, activist, technopolitical strategist, cultural manager and curator, multidisciplinary artist, researcher, reporter and teacher, Levi, who was born in Turin, Italy, is now a Spanish citizen and has resided in Barcelona (Catalonia) since 1990.

She is and has been speaker in the media and advisor to countless citizen organizations and institutions such as the Secretary of State for Digitization and Artificial Intelligence of the Government of Spain, the Directorate of Digital Society and the General Directorate of Digital Administration of the Generalitat of Catalonia, Bithabitat –Platform of Urban Innovation of the Barcelona City Council, the Data Ethics Committee of the General Directorate of Digital Administration of the Generalitat of Catalonia or the European Public Mosaic – Open Journal on Public Service of the School of Administration of the Generalitat de Catalunya on issues in its fields of action such as digital rights and the renewal of democracy in the current era; free culture, freedom of expression, the fight against systemic disinformation and the strategic use of digital tools for organization, communication, democratic action and the fight against State abuse.




As an activist Simona Levi has focused in recent years, on free culture, digital democracy and the strategic use of digital tools for organisation, technopolitical communication, collective action, the struggle against state corruption and for the renewal of democracy. Founder of projects like Xnet and 15MPARATO, which led to the trial of the chief executives of Bankia—ranked as the fifth bank in Spain—she organises platforms in order to bring corruption to light, and to unmask those who are politically responsible for the economic injustices in Spain and Europe. Levi has been a prominent participant in the 15-M (anti-austerity) movement in Barcelona.
Prior to this, she was active in housing rights movements (VdeVivienda and others) and for the use of public space.


VdeVivienda (housing rights)

15M Barcelona

15M Barcelona (anti-austerity movement)

Photo by Edu Bayer

Photo by Edu Bayer


Activist: Creating Devices for Action

Xnet (formerly EXGAE): in 2008 Simona Levi founded the project EXGAE in which, proposing alternative models for cultural dissemination, copyright management, and defence of the Internet and democracy in the digital age, involving other activists, geeks and teachers affected by the abuses of the Sociedad General de Autores (Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers) and other entities managing copyright. In 2010, thanks to the measly sense of humour of SGAE, which threatened to take EXGAE to court for breach of the Trademarks and Patents Law, EXGAE changed its name to Xnet. Since then, Xnet has been working on digital rights, data and for network democracy (mechanisms for participation and citizen control of power and the institutions); to defend a free and neutral Internet; to support knowledge, information and citizen journalism in favour of the right to know, to inform and to be informed; the legal, technical and communication struggle against corruption; and technopolitics understood as online practice and action for empowerment, justice and social transformation.

Since its foundation, Simona Levi has coordinated the project.


Highlights (updated 2022):

Digital rights and digitalisation that respects human rights

In 2021, at the request of the President of the European Parliament, the late David Sassoli, Levi led a “Reflection Paper” published by the European Parliament Research Service in the Publications Office of the European Union, entitled “Proposal for Sovereign and Democratic Digitalisation of Europe”. This work is the result of a dialogue between David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament with Simona Levi, U. Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, former President R. Prodi and T. Berners, inventor of the web, entitled “Access to the Internet: a new human right”, broadcast live by the European Parliament. The project includes concrete actions that Levi is working on.

Since 2019, Levi has designed and headed up the Plan for the Democratic Digitalisation of Education together with families, open source software companies and participating schools.
The Plan involves the creation of a comprehensive, auditable, agile and interoperable IT tool called DD to replace Big Tech’s proprietary tools throughout the activity of educational establishments, while also offering a
programme of reform of the education system for digital training. The Plan has already resulted in:

– Development of the DD tool and its implementation in 11 schools in the city of Barcelona (from 2021) in collaboration with the Directorate for Democratic Innovation of the City Council and the city’s Education Consortium.

– The 1st International Course on Digital Democratic Education and Open Edtech (2022) directed by Levi and officially recognised as 20 hours of teacher training by the Department of Education of the Government of Catalonia. This international conference has generated policy recommendations and a permanent international working group.

From 2019 to 2023 it is contributing to the Gavius project for Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) of the European Union in the field of digital rights and ethical use of technology in local institutions in the field of social aid (cities of Gavà and Mataró together with the Open Administration of Catalonia and the Polytechnic University of Catalonia).
Specifically, it works on identification, freedom of choice and participation in the digital sphere and digital rights in the field of artificial intelligence as applied by the public administration.

Since 2018, Levi has been working very intensively on many aspects relating to the proper adaptation of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation that protects online privacy.
She coordinates related actions and drew up Xnet’s report and legislative proposals on Privacy, Data Protection vs. Institutionalised Abuse. This project has given rise to various actions before European and national institutions in the areas of elections and abuses of the electoral roll; the preservation of memory; clashes between administrative law and transparency law in accordance with the spirit of data protection regulation; and the infringement of privatisation rights for the self-employed.


Online freedom of expression and its relationship to disinformation in the digital age

In 2018 she coordinated the Report “#FakeYou: Governments, political parties, media, corporations, big money: monopolies of information manipulation and threats to freedom of expression” which was later made into a book in 2020 —with two editions— as well as an adaptation for children in 2021 (translated into Portuguese).

In 2020 she designed policy recommendations based on the report “#FakeYou: governments, political parties, media, corporations, big money: monopolies of information manipulation and threats to freedom of expression”. This work led to numerous interventions in the field of freedom of expression, disinformation and hate speech.

Access to culture, information and knowledge in the digital age

Since 2008, it has promoted free licences to improve access to culture, information and knowledge in the digital age, as well as promoting various proposals for legislative reform in the fields of open data, open source, open access/open science. In 2011 she appeared on Televisión Española in the documentary “Copiad Malditos”, directed by Stéphane M. Grueso. In 2012 she coordinated the European project “Creativity: innovative models of production and access”. In 2013 she facilitated the application of the first Creative Commons licence for a documentary on Catalan public television (No-Res).

She has generated a number of crowd-sourced projects on the subject:
– In 2010, she was the driving force behind the creation of Red-Sostenible (she can be found mentioned in Cablegate, disclosed by Wikileaks).

– In 2009 (until 2015) she led and designed the FCForum, an international observatory on democratic rights in the digital age: a public policy-making event with an international network of 150 specialists for seven editions, with corresponding legislative recommendations.

– In 2008 (and until 2013) she created and ran the OXcars (six editions), the biggest free culture show in Europe. Capacity: 2,000 people.

– In 2008 she headed up a repository of tools and advice for the public.

Democratic innovation and the fight against (corruption and) systemic abuses and for institutional integrity

She has been working in this field since 2012, when she founded the citizens’ organisation that promoted the Bankia case and brought to light the black card scandal, which led to the conviction (in 2018) of 65 politicians and bankers, including the former finance minister and former president of the International Monetary Fund, and allowed the return of almost 9 billion euros to those affected by so-called preference shares.

A pioneer in the protection of whistleblowers and anonymous and secure whistleblower mailboxes, in 2019 she registered in the Spanish Congress and Catalan Parliament the first transposition of the European Directive for the protection of whistleblowers and informants and created a template for transposition that can be used in other countries.

In 2018, she proposed a DIY registration system for legislative proposals for the Spanish Congress and Parliaments.

A specialist in strategic litigation for social transformation, she has worked intensively since 2018 to improve national and European legislation on class actions and SLAPPs.

In 2017 she promoted and opened the first secure, anonymous institutional whistleblowing channel based on Globaleaks in Barcelona City Council. This prototype has since been replicated in many other public and private institutions (currently more than 10). She has contributed to the amendment of the European Whistleblowers Directive.

In 2016/17, her play “Hazte banquero” about the Bankia case and how to fight corruption with digital tools, written with Sergio Salgado, was seen by 10,000 people.

In 2015, publication of the Correos scandal involving Blesa; the black card scandal was uncovered.

In 2015, she founded Citizen Groups Against Corruption in Spain and Catalonia. Opening of Xnet’s anonymous whistleblower channel. Xnet had co-founded Filtrala the year before.


Devices produced with Xnet


Proposal for a sovereign and democratic digitalisation of Europe
Report commissioned by the Presidency of the European Parliament for inclusive digitalisation that respects fundamental rights. Starting from the concrete actions coordinated by Levi in the educational field, she designed legislative recommendations and lines of action a that are put into practice and policy.

Democratic digitalisation Plan in the field of education and DD
Design and pilot of infrastructures for public services with the sovereignty and digital rights of citizens at the center.

International congress on Democratic Digital Education and Open Edtech
To provide analysis tools to educational centers, teachers, the educational community, legislators and the general public to understand the digital context and culture and to propose pedagogies from an innovative, agile and respectful with digital rights perspective.


OXcars – The biggest free culture event ever: Simona writes the script and directs the staging of the show, a kind of non-competitive Gala-Marathon held in Barcelona every year from 2008 to 2013 in order to bring to light cultural creation and distribution achieved in accordance with free and shared culture paradigms and in defence of a neutral Internet. By means of demonstrations and mentions of several categories of work, real legal solutions are paradoxically demonstrated.



Free Culture ForumInternational Citizen Rights Observatory in the Digital Age:

Free Culture Forum

Free Culture Forum

Simona Levi has been coordinator, programmer and director of Free Culture Forum since 2009. This is an international meeting point which brings together in Barcelona organisations and experts in order to create a global strategic framework and a structure for international coordination.

Sinde Pirate
Molina Pirate
Red Sostenible

(in Spanish but see related text From Now on, New and Freedom):

Simona Levi was a founder of this citizen platform which, formed in January 2010, is one of the main concerted-action groups against Spain’s Sinde Law on Internet copyright infringements. This was a network of coordination and intervention at the national level which was joined by Internet user organisations, bloggers and journalists, experts in digital communication technology, creators, legal experts specialising in digital rights and copyright, producers’ groups, entrepreneurs and user associations.

(D’) Evolution Summit

(D’) Evolution Summit

(D’) Evolution Summit, citizen summit::

Levi designed and directed this mass-based street action which appeared as a point of counter-information during the Summit of EU Culture Ministers, held in Barcelona during the Spanish EU Presidency.





Fotografía de Edu Bayer

Photo by Edu Bayer

15MPARATO (the lawsuit filed by organised citizens who, holding bankers responsible for the economic crisis, brought the Bankia corruption case before the National High Court). This citizen campaign which opened what is now known as the Bankia case was founded by Simona Levi.

Citizen Groups against Corruption at the State Level and in Catalonia: Simona Levi organises the joint efforts of groups and individuals who are already active in combatting corruption by means of an active, stable, well-coordinated and collaborative network.

#AritmEtica20N: For the general elections of 2011, she promotes and creates together with another person the anonymous device Arithmetica20N.
Politics are ideas, elections are calculations. a table of calculations to break with the bipartism that had occupied the electoral space until then. The table receives 600,000 visits in 5 days and has been a relevant mechanism in these elections.

Partido X (X Party): Levi was a founder of the first party to be formed by a group of people close to the 15-M anti-austerity movement and free culture movements. This experimental, anti-party party is a unique, non-ideological prototype based on logic and methodology, upholding a model of democracy fostering citizen participation and monitored by citizens, and exploiting the political potential of digital tools of communication.



Publications, research, lectures, teaching and consultancy

Levi has promoted and co-authored several books, notable among them “#FakeYou — Fake news y desinformación – Gobiernos, partidos políticos, medios de comunicación de masas, corporaciones, grandes fortunas: monopolios de la manipulación informativa y recortes de la libertad de expresión” (#FakeYou: Fake News and Disinformation – Governments, political parties, mass media, corporations, big fortunes: monopolies of information manipulation and cuts in freedom of expression), edited by Rayo Verde in 2019; “Votar y cobrar. La impunidad como forma de gobierno” (Vote and charge. Impunity as a form of government) – coauthor with Sergio Salgado -, narration of how her group has initiated the campaign that uncovers the Bankia Case, the leakage of Blesa’s mails and the Black Cards (published by Capitan Swing in 2017); “Tecnopolítica, internet y r-evoluciones” (Technopolitics, the Internet and R-evolutions) – about the key role of digital networks in #15M -, and she has edited “Cultura libre digital – Nociones básicas para defender lo que es de todxs” (Free Digital Culture: Basic Notions for Defending What Belongs to Everyone). Both these books were published in 2012 by Icaria.

Levi gives lectures, teaches and offers consultancy in Spanish, Catalan, English, French and Italian in a variety of venues including:: European Parliament, Columbia University, the Pompeu Fabra University; Goldsmiths University of London; London School of Economics; European Parliament commissions; Parliament of Catalonia commissions; Spanish Parliament commissions; the EU Digital Agenda for Europe Commission; the EU Internal Market Commission; the EU Culture and Education Commission; the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe); Bangor University of London; Hertie School of Governance, Berlin; Barcelona City Council Office for Transparency and Best Practice; University of Barcelona; King’s College, London; Open University of Catalonia; Autonomous University of Barcelona; Complutense University, Madrid; University of Alicante; Pablo de Olavide University, Seville; Barcelona IGOP (Institute of Governance and Public Policies) Summer School; Université d’Évry Val-d’Essonne (School of Engineering); Embassy of Brazil; Annual Open Knowledge Conference; IETM annual meeting; OuiShare Fest; Reina Sofía Museum; Logan – CIJ Symposium; Transmediale Festival; Internet Freedom Festival; Cadesyc; Bertolt Brecht House, Montevideo; Communia Workshop, Luxembourg; Buenos Aires Creative Commons Film Festival; Circumvention; Getafe Negro crime novel festival; Economies of the Commons; Primavera Sound; Rototom Festival; Barcelona Theatre Institute; Circolo degli artisti, Milan; Performing Arts post-graduate programme of FiraTàrrega; Action Europe; Right International Spain; DSI Advisory Group; Museum of the History of Catalonia; Contemporary Art Museum of Castile-León; Casa Invisible, Malaga; European University Institute, Florence; Faculty of Journalism and Communication, Malaga; Circolo Arci, Rome; International Institute for Education and Research, Amsterdam; BAU, Barcelona; Taller de Músics, Barcelona; Attac Austria; Attac Barcelona; CUP Communication Training Seminars; Les Verts Européens; Traficantes de Sueños; MediaLab-Prado; Confavc (Federation of Neighbourhood Associations in Catalonia); FICOD Festival; #Redada at the CCCB, Barcelona; Re:publica Europe, Berlin; Relais Culture Europe; Media Squares; LATU – Technology Laboratory, Uruguay; Tramallol Cooperative; Agora99 – European Meeting on Debt, Rights and Democracy; Barcelona Faculty of Computer Science; Network Cultures Institute; Fòrum Indigestió; Editorial Virus; Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia Foundation; Barcelona Businesswomen’s Association; Pantera Rossa Bookshop, Zaragoza; 4S/EASST Conference; IDHC (Human Rights Institute of Catalonia); Disruption Lab; First International Seminar on Metropolitan Transparency, Het Nieuwe Instituut, MACBA …

Simona Levi is a regular talk-show guest in the Catalunya Ràdio programme “El matí” and in “A vivir” from the Cadena Ser.


Theatre director, playwright, scriptwriter, and cultural manager

Conservas, space for creation

In 1993 she started the theatre Conservas, in Barcelona’s Raval neighbourhood as a space designed to promote independent, innovative local theatre creation through self-production with programming of cycles of total performance action seeking the support and shared responsibility of audiences.

The widespread popularity and renown of these cycles, always with overflowing audiences, made it necessary to find spaces with greater capacity.

In 1999 Simona Levi programmed a cycle of shows in the Mercat de les Flors theatre in Barcelona and, in 2001, she created and directed the InnMotion festival of Applied Visual and Performing Arts at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona during the city’s Festival Grec with audiences totalling thousands of people. InnMotion, eventually held biennially, was widely acclaimed at the Catalan, Spanish and international levels on the five occasions it was held.

Video fragment from Inn Motion 2007

Video fragment from Inn Motion 2005

Video fragment from Inn Motion 2002

Video fragment from Inn Motion 2001


Festival Inn Motion

Festival Inn Motion

He began directing in 1989 with the company Ecco Rondo (Luzern, Switzerland).
In 1999, Simona Levi founded Compañía Conservas, with which she toured all of Europe with several shows over a period of ten years.
With this company she writes, directs and, in some cases, invents stage and audiovisual effects and devices, and designs the lighting, as in the following works:

Realidades Avanzadas 2 (Advanced Realities 2, 2018-2019)
Hazte Banquero – Tarjetas Black: Todo lo que quisieron ocultarte (Become a Banker: Black Cards – Everything They Wanted to Hide from You, 2016 – 2017)
Realidades Avanzadas (Advanced Realities, 2007-2009)
7 Dust, Non Lavoreremo Mai Show (2002- 2005)
Femina Ex Machina (1999-2003) – Winner of the Special Critics’ Prize and the FAD Audience Applause Prize

Realidades Avanzadas 2


Hazte Banquero

Hazte Banquero

These shows have been staged in theatres and festivals throughout Europe, including:
Transmediale Festival, Berlin; 4×4 Festival, Prague; Main d’Ouvres, Paris; City of Women Festival, Ljublijana; the Geneva Exineo; Le Zoo/Usine, Geneva; Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Fabbrica Europa 2000, Florence; International Festival of Theatre, Sitges; Festival Internazionale di Teatro di Santarcangelo; Festival des Arts Vivants de Nyon (Switzerland); Mladi Levi, Ljubjana Slovenia; International Theatre Festival, Tarrega; Bergen (Cultural Capital 2000); Festival Franco-Iberique et Latino-Americain, Bayonne; Danae Festival, Milan; Kanonhallen, Copenhagen; International Mime Festival, Perigueux; Escena Abierta, Burgos; International London Mime Festival; Mercat de les Flors Theatre, Barcelona; Escorxador Theatre, Lleida; La Fundición, Bilbao; La follia dei linguaggi, Turin; La Rose des Vents Scènes étrangères (France); Malta Festival, Poznan (Poland); Bellone-Brigittines, Brussels; Teatro Libero, Palermo; Madrid Escena Contemporánea; Sala Nasa Theatre, Santiago de Compostela; Théâtre National de Toulouse; Drugo More, Rijeka (Croatia); Koreja Theatre, Lecce (Italy); Noorderzon Festival, Groningen (The Netherlands); Laboral Escena, Gijón; Festival Panorama, Olot; Festival Punto Aparte, Murcia; Festival de Polverigi (Italy); Poliorama Theatre, Barcelona; Rosalía de Castro Theatre, A Coruña; Fernando Fernán Gómez Theatre, Madrid; El Musical Theatre, Valencia; Salt Theatre…


… IN THE 90’s simona levi cv

She lived in Paris for five years, working, studying performing arts and movement with Jacques Lecoq, and participating in the occupied creative space Oeil du Cyclone. She spent a year in Lucerne working as movement director in several plays and participating in the occupied creative space Boa; a year in Manchester working as an actress; and two years in Amsterdam working as an actress, writing her first works for the theatre and the audiovisual format, and also participating in the creative space of the Graan Silo squat, a space that is recorded in the archive of the Museum for Architecture, Design and Digital Culture de Rotterdam.